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Japanese investment soars in Cambodia

ANN/THE PHNOM PENH POST – An influential figure in the banking sector highlighted the significance of the recent gathering between Cambodian and Japanese business representatives, underscoring its pivotal role in drawing increased Japanese investments to the country. The observation comes in the context of bilateral trade surpassing USD1.5 billion in the initial 10 months of 2023.

ACLEDA Bank president and group managing director In Channy said during a November 20 meeting at the bank’s head office, that the interaction between Cambodian business partners and Japanese financiers presents a chance for both to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities.

He highlighted that the country’s investment laws and geographical location are advantageous. With 30 Cambodian and 28 Japanese companies in attendance, Channy stressed that the meeting aimed at the broader benefit of Cambodia, not just the bank.

“Japanese investors have made a wise decision by investing in Cambodia, a country characterised by complete and profound peace. These decisions are well-founded, as Cambodia provides favourable investment conditions that meet the needs of financiers,” he said.

Shipping containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Cambodia. PHOTO: THE PHNOM PENH POST

The meeting, in collaboration with the Japan-Cambodia Association, was their third joint business matching forum.

Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said despite a decline in trade volume between the two countries, he was optimistic about a recovery. He attributed this positivity to Japan’s membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).

He noted that Cambodia now exports a variety of agricultural products to Japan, in addition to textiles. “To further boost trade cooperation, the CCC has established a representative office in Sendai, Japan,” he said.

He attributed the nearly 20 per cent decrease in imports from Japan to the Kingdom’s expanding capacity to grow, process and produce. Heng noted that Cambodia’s primary exports to Japan include garments, footwear, components and agricultural products, while imports from Japan encompass machinery, automobiles, electronics and agricultural machinery.

Trade between the two countries in the first 10 months of 2023 totalled USD1.5 billion, a decrease of 8.5 per cent from the previous year. Cambodia’s exports to Japan amounted to USD974.94 million, a 1.4-per-cent decline, while Japan’s imports to Cambodia were USD529.03 million, a 19.3-per-cent decrease, as per the Cambodian General Department of Customs and Excise.